The Masters  
The Powell & Pressburger Pages

Dedicated to the work of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and all the other people, both actors and technicians who helped them make those wonderful films.

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Submitted by Mark Fuller

Films in Glasgow
Odd Morals and Fine Landscapes

From: Glasgow Herald
25 September 1944

Perhaps the best thing in "A Canterbury Tale" (The Picture House) is its beautiful use of a bit of countryside as an implicit, if not directly stated theme. The country, of course, is Kent, down at the other end of Britain, but lovely enough for Scotland to remember in other than its front-line aspects, and, photographed with the skill that it is here, worth seeing on the screen as a reminder of past felicity or as a first vicarious visit.

     Unfortunately Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, who wrote and directed this film, pitched a very odd story into the landscape of sunlit lanes and orchards and clean, breeze-rippled grass ridges. The local J.P. in their tale is a nasty sort of chap who throws glue over the girls' heads in the black-out - and whatever mystic motives may be cooked up for him in the script, a psychiatrist would doubtless find a more accurate, if less pleasant, name for this sort of activity than an ebullience of local patriotism.

     However, this rather sordid plot-contrivance aside, the film moves graciously with its three war-time pilgrims on the road to Canterbury, and there is a genuinely moving climax when the great Cathedral itself is reached. the seekers after blessing are well and unaffectedly played - a land girl (Sheila Sim), a British soldier (Dennis Price), and an American soldier (a charming bit of acting by Sergeant John Sweet, U.S. Army, more or less as himself). Eric Portman, as the pathological J.P., makes as good a job as he can of a sticky part.

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